Posts Tagged ‘rest’

Puppets & Jellyfish

Last week I sat down to watch “Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9″ with my kids, and I was kinda blown away. Here, condensed into a 40 minute children’s puppet movie (with quite a bit of humor), was a potent message. Not just a good message. I mean – take all the current spiritual living, devotional, God/Christ-centered literature that has come out in recent years – this movie will summarize a large percentage of it.galaxybuck

(spoiler alert)

Buck works in a call center for a large ministry, and is discontent because the poster on his wall constantly reminds him “God wants you to do BIG things!” He feels like he’s not accomplishing what God wants, and gets excited when there seems to be a chance. Things go awry, and he finds himself bummed again. Then, in the subterranean levels of an alien planet, he meets someone who rips his goal apart. Literally. He takes Bucks’ poster, and rips it so that the words left read, “God wants you.” I asked my 10-year-old daughter the next day what the message of the movie was about, and she answered clearly the same thing: “God doesn’t want you to do big things, as much as God wants YOU. You’re not a shark, you’re a jellyfish caught in the flow of God’s Love.”

The obvious push-back to that is: “That sounds like an excuse for laziness, and not trying anything.” Certainly it could be manipulated into that. But when we allow ourselves to exist fully in the flow of God’s Love – we have to trust that WILL call us to be actively offering ourselves fully toward the mission of lives, community and creation transformed.  But our activity doesn’t begin with us setting a goal of “accomplishing great things for Jesus”.  It begins with us relinquishing control of everything in our being, into the great Love of God.  That may mean we accomplish great things by the measures of this world, or that mean we lose everything and all noteriety for His sake.

The first step?  Allowing the truth of that ripped poster to sink in.  “God wants YOU.”  Not because of your gifts or talents.  Not because of your heritage.  Not because you’re specifically poised to accomplish what no one else could ever do.  Not because of your purity.  But because He Loves you.  Fully and completely, and without reserve.  Just as much when you were making horrible decisions as He does today.  Most of us have been loved wrong by a human in our lives, and it messes up the kind of love we even see as possible.  So let the love of God sink in a bit, and then release yourself to it.  There is no greater place to exist, or calling to walk forward with…

For more on covenanting with God to do/be whatever He wants, check out this modern version of the “John Wesley Covenant Service” I’ve written for use in a church setting.

For a few words on God simply desiring/loving you as His child, here’s a Spoken Word I recently recorded.

changing streets.

I’m still getting used to it.

I grew up living most of my life on M-50.  That stands for “Michigan-50”, as in a “high-way”.  We had a large front lawn, so don’t imagine it so close to the road the truckers could throw their drinks at my window.  But do imagine cars and trucks whizzing by at 60+ MPH while we waited for our bus at the end of the driveway.   Much of the school year in coooold Michigander temperatures.  It was awesome.  Stars seemed they were always visible.clintontrail

We knew our immediate neighbors.  We rode our bikes for hours up and down our driveway (Not to brag, but it was the only one nearby that was completely paved).  In high school, we were robbed by the senior higher who lived a few doors down from us.  We watched the fire department accidentally drive through a closed door, and every so often a traveling group of Indians would set up their teepees in the field across the highway.  In the 20 minutes we waited for the bus, often we pretended we were Ninja Turtles (I was usually Michaelangelo, because I love eating pizza and saying “Dude”.  He was usually Leonardo, because he’s a natural leader and genius.) before we hopped on the bus for the 1.5 hour trek around horror-movie-inspiring cornfields picking up all the other students who lives “outside of town”.  You could say it was a pretty normal place to live.

I remember when our city, Eaton Rapids, was about to have it’s very own McDonald’s restaurant open.  The excitement was building for months as we saw the holy structure take form.  The date was set for opening.    It was only about 1.4 miles away, but it was 1.4 miles of M-50.  Intimidating?  Nah.  My older brother was with me.  Plus…we wanted to be among the first to taste the amazing goodness that was fast food, and enjoy the coming-of-age experience of a bike ride to food without adults.

It was a pretty great place to grow.  I’m thankful for it.

Where I live now is more an Avenue than highway.

If a car comes down the cobblestone street going faster than 15 MPH, I stand up and give them my stern-serious look.  If we 1383595_10151693986116339_1342514859_nforget sour cream, we can run out to get it and be back in a few minutes.   Our kids play together.  We celebrate holidays together, and call the cops on each other. (Lovingly, of course.)  There are streetlamps on both sides of our street, straight out of some old-time movie.   If the kids on our street aren’t homeschooled, they can walk down the block to school each morning.

It’s still a bit new to me, this living in closer community.  Where we could walk most places we need to get to within an easy stroll.  Trick-or-Treat season finds mini-vans from all over the city dropping off a load of kids to wander around begging sugar from door-to-door.  We share a water provider, and a sewer system.  It’s a pretty intimate deal. Much of this might simply be adult-hood, but I know the names of most of the families up and down both sides of my street.  We pray for them.  We hope that somehow God’s Love will be known and experienced by the ways that we connect in relationship…whether they know Him already or not.  We draw with sidewalk chalk and play hop scotch and wave at the elderly man who grows herbs in his basement year-round (legal ones).

You can’t always see the stars very well.

But the people sure are great.

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